Oh, the colonoscopy. Although it’s the most effective way to detect and thereby prevent colon cancer and other digestive issues, some people are still reluctant to commit to the procedure. Ask just about anyone who’s endured the quick and painless process, and they’ll tell you that the prep is the most difficult part.
Reports the Chicago Tribune: “Data suggest that about 40 percent of the people who should get a colonoscopy don’t, mostly because of the prep,” says Douglas Rex, a distinguished professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.
A typical colonoscopy involves drinking lots and lots of not-so-tasty liquids followed by lots and lots of trips to the toilet. Nothing is going to change in the toilet department, but the liquids are getting a face lift.
Researchers are experimenting with flavored shakes and bars such as strawberry banana or coconut that have the same effect as the historically dreaded liquid.
“Those drinking the new products were twice as likely as those who used the standard prep solution to be satisfied and four times as likely to recommend it,” says the Tribune.
The products should be available to patients in about two years.
The entire goal of these new prep methods is to get more people to commit to a colonoscopy, as it’s undoubtedly the number one way to detect and prevent cancer, tumors, polyps and other intestinal abnormalities.
“The easier you make it for people, the more you can improve their adherence,” says Susan Czajkowski, chief of the health behaviors research branch of the National Cancer Institute.